How Do I Know I’m a Good Parent?

being good parents taking babies on playdates

One thing that I miss about school is that in class, you always know when you’re doing it right. You get a grade, or a check plus (gosh, remember check plusses? I loved those). And you’re done with that assignment. Yay! Even if you didn’t get the check plus, and you did everything wrong, the end of the school year always came.

I like things with beginnings, middles and ends.

Maybe this is why birth is so wonderful to me. The start of labor might be a little fuzzy, but we sure can tell when it’s done! (Hint: there’s a baby!)

But postpartum doula work, initially, made me a bit nervous. For the same reason that many of my clients are nervous: I wasn’t sure if I would know if I was doing it right.

Clients share a lot of fears with me:

What if I can’t breastfeed? How do I choose the right formula (or bottles or breastpump)?

What if my baby won’t stop crying?

What if I won’t stop crying?

What happens if I still don’t really like babies?

Will I be a good parent?

And I think that most of these are rooted in the unknown. It’s so hard to know if you’re a good parent, and how to measure success. Everything is unpredictable, babies don’t take direction well, or tell us what they need. And there’s so much conflicting advice.

But here’s the good news:

You have everything you need to take care of your new baby, and your whole family, exactly the way that they need.

I’m sure of it. Because even if you’re a little bit overwhelmed, you’ll reach out for help.

I’ve learned, as a postpartum doula, that measuring success is very simple for me- if you’re satisfied, happy and confident, then all the goals have been reached. I made a whole video about it! 

It’s not quite that easy when it’s your baby.

But no matter what pop culture and #goals posts on Instagram would have us believe, no one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to parenting.

Think of it like your very first job. That was pretty stressful, right? And as much preparation as you did for it, you couldn’t know everything you’d need to until you got there. But somehow, you got through that. You’ll get through this too.

So please don’t think less of yourself if you’re nervous about what to do when you bring your baby home from the hospital. And don’t stress alone about whether you’re doing it right.

You get to decide what’s right. Your intuition will tell you. You’ll be more than a good parent. You’ll be a great one!

And if you need support, just reach out!


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